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Hôtelières making a change !

Dear HoteliersGuild LeadingHôtelières Chapter devotees,

First of all, thanks to all of our dedicated members, especially of course to the ladies from the Focus Groups, for contributing your time and energy to this very Frank M. Pfaller

Founder President

special cause! You are so much appreciated! I do hope that despite the situation HoteliersGuild caused by this terrible pandemic, the Festive Season brings peaceful moments and beautiful memories to you and your loved ones. On behalf of all of us here at HoteliersGuild, may I wish you a delightful holiday - hopefully and wherever possible with family and friends, or otherwise socially distanced but nevertheless close at heart! - full of peace, confidence, and love.

On the following pages you find a summary of what has been achieved the chapter was founded in September only, by our diligent focus group and the various task forces under Xenia’s and Sowon’s committed guidance, and supported by Maria’s communications team.

Again warm personal greetings and I look forward to reunite with you early next year! …and please don’t forget to contribute to our ForumOfDialogue! Deadline for submission of articles is January 30th 2021… Stay Healthy & Confident!


Leading Hôtelières Member roster updated Dec. 2020

Xenia zu Hohenlohe - Managing Partner & Co-Founder of ConsiderateGroup our first Chairlady & Lead Strategic Alliance Partner. Xenia is as passionate about hospitality and travel as she is about helping to create new systems in order to integrate sustainable practices into every aspect of life. She has been working in the hotel and tourism industry all over the world for the last 20 years, building experience and knowledge on what ingredients are needed to make a hotel as well as its services outstanding. Sustainable management policy being one of these ingredients, as it ensures a hotel's successful future existence. To her being a Considerate Hoteliers means living and working responsibly for a future world the next generation can still live in.

Prof. Dr. Sowon Kim - Co-Chairlady, Associated Professor with EHL & Founder of WIL Sowon’s initiative puts the focus on projects regarding women, and on a wider scale the initiative aims to promote leadership, culture, and policies that foster diverse, balanced, and people-focused environments. It strives so that students, faculty, staff, and alumni can lead fulfilled professional and personal lives.

Lindsey Ueberroth - President & CEO, Preferred Hotels Group, our Hon. Co-founder & Ambassador on why there are so few women CEOs in hospitality? “I’m

happy to see more women CEOs in hospitality. However, we are still a far cry from where I hope we can be in terms of representation. The biggest challenges for women looking to achieve top leadership roles were the need to travel, relocate and dedicate long hours. In the past, once having children and raising a family came into the equation, many women were forced to make a choice, and those challenges were hard to overcome. Given the innovations in technology and a more open attitude towards flexible working hours and “home offices, many of these hurdles seem alleviated.”

Maria Pajares

- Managing Director of MASONROSE,London, Experienced and highly professional executive within the hotel and travel sector, specialising in Sales, Marketing and PR. Skilled in running a business, inspiring teams to achieve, meeting goals, positively managing client relationships and embracing change. Passionate about the hotel industry and the people within it.

Eva Malmström is creative director and co-founder of the incredible Soneva resorts. Eva creates and oversees the interior design process. During the 70s and the 80s Eva was a top fashion model appearing on the covers of more than 100 high-end magazines world-wide. Eva also had a successful clothing company in Paris, called L’EVA. Her real flair is in her impeccable taste, innovative and unconventional ideas and an overall daring approach that ensures a different 'feel' for each project. Her attention to detail is considered legendary amongst the Soneva hosts.

Victoria Tollman, Director of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection says: “It’s a

privilege, an honor and a responsibility to try and continue the legacy my parents began over 60 years ago. It’s a business you have to love and be passionate about. It’s all about the people, whether it’s the guest or the teams running the hotels. Happy staff make happy guests.”

Irene Hoek - Vice President, Global Residential Development at Rosewood Hotel Group.

Irene is also a Senior Committee Member with WomenInHotels , a well-rounded hotel development executive with more than 20 years of industry experience. Extensive track record of growing the footprint of luxury hotel brands via acquisitions and management agreements, including Aman, Dorchester Collection, InterContinental, and St Regis.

Yasmine Mahmoudieh, Iconic Architect&Designer. Yasmine studied art history in

Florence, architecture at the l’école d’Ingénieurs de Genève in Switzerland, interior design at the college of Notre Dame in San Francisco and architecture and interior design at UCLA in Los Angeles. A year after she graduated from UCLA (aged 26) she opened her first studio in Los Angeles, and today has her headquarters in London. Her work can be found across Europe, the United States ,into the Middle East and Asia, and even in the skies above, working as one of the few chosen de-signers to work on the Airbus A380.

Sue Williams, General Manager, Whatley Manor

Sue is an experienced General Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry. Skilled in Catering, Food & Beverage, Operations Management, Hotel Management, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Strong sales professional graduated from Brooklands Technical College,

Weybridge. Whatley Manor became a partner of NOW in February 2109 and also a proud partner with and accredited by EarthCheck with 4 out of 5 Globes.

Marie-Laure Akdag - Founder and Managing Director of MarieLaureConsultancy Throughout her career, she has challenged the status quo and driven growth by thinking out of the box. Her tenures in luxury hotels include leading sales and marketing and positioning iconic hotels such as the Amstel Intercontinental and the Grand Sofitel Demeure in Amsterdam, the Hotel de Crillon in Paris, Burj Al Arab in Dubai and the European Fairmont hotels from her base at The Savoy in London. She has built a global network of talented individuals she interacts with regularly and can call upon. Her diverse background and skills set support her passion for helping brands join the dots around the customer to create and deliver authentic and meaningful experiences and achieve commercial success.

Dagmar Symes - General Manager, Riyadh Private Estate. Dagmar brings a wealth of experience in both the hotel and luxury retail industries across Europe and the Middle East. Starting her career with the leading hotels of the world, Dagmar previously worked in various luxury properties in France, Switzerland and her native Germany. Prior to joining Private Estate, Dagmar held the position of General Manager at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, Cluster General Manager at Phoenicia InterContinental Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon and Le Vendome InterContinental Hotel.

Maribel Esparcia Pérez - Maribel is a professor at the University of Lleida Faculty of Law, Economics and Tourism, with a degree in Tourism Management and Master in Hotel Management. With an entrepreneurial spirit and higher vision, she founded the company Purpose-Driven Net in London (2016) and currently is the Founding Partner of The European

Sustainable Hospitality Club (2019) an entity dedicated to driving growth and positive impacts simultaneously for the Travel Industry. Maribel is also a Hospitality and Sustainability Wolrd Experts Panel member and Women in Hospitality and Travel-Tech Brand Ambassador. 

Céline Vadam - Founder & CEO of WE(i)think Celine is a living and breathing

example of how powerful and empowering living a healthy life could be. Formerly a Development Manager with Four Seasons Hotels responsible for pre-opening & renovation support to Global Operations and Corporate F&B and Spa/Wellness strategic initiatives, Céline’s vision today with WE(i) Think is to look at each project with Wellness and Sustainability in mind and to aligning people and planet aspirations. She also gives lectures at prestigious universities and speaks at global industry events.

Dr. Tania Bardhan, Director of Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. Highly experienced working with Wellness Resorts, Luxury Hotel spas, Spa operating and consulting firms in a career spanning over 20 years. Some of Tania’s strengths are running profitable spa & wellness businesses and developing strategies and tools to deliver lasting customer impressions.

Franziska Altenrath - Co-Founder and Managing Director at TUTAKA

Franziska gained various insights into the problems and effects of unsustainable consumption patterns from different industries such as automotive, real estate and fashion. Being a true materialist herself, excited about design, materials and production, she searched for ways to challenge the status quo.

Cecilia Y M Lui - VP Sales & Marketing Greater China, Peninsula Hotels. Cecilia is an experienced hotel executive with in-depth knowledge required for customer-driven industry and exposure in high-tech field. She is responsible for the group’s Greater China sales, revenue management, brand marketing, communications, digital marketing and digital customer experience strategies and activities and sales & marketing promotions.

Dr Reneé Minnaar PhD - With more than 14 years of lecturing experience in both private and public higher education institutions in South Africa, Reneé prides herself in being one of the few PhD graduates in the field of tourism in South Africa. She gained extensive industry experience during a year as a manager at one of the best hotels in the world - The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa. As a consultant she specialises in hospitality, tourism and academic solutions.

Pauline Tew, Pauline and Malcolm Tew have owned and operated many hotels in the last 25 years in WA including The Margaret River Hotel and Rottnest Lodge. They started the MyHotel brand with the development and operation of The Outram Hotel in West Perth.  This property became the first Small Luxury Hotels of the World in WA.  In 2010, Pauline was invited to become a Board Member of the Small Luxury Hotel Group. Her experience, knowledge and advice in relation to tourism product is recognised both nationally and internationally.

Valentina De Santis- Owner/CEO of GrandHotelTremezzo With broad

experience in hospitality management and cultural entertainment, Valentina de Santis graduated from the University of Milan in 2007 after completing three years of Bachelor in Business

Administration and two years for her Master of Science in General Management degree. Her family has owned the hotel since 1975, bringing traditional hospitality from her Italian family throughout the years. De Santis is viewed as an inspiring and strong woman leading the spirit behind the storied Lake Como hideaway in the hospitality industry and has been nominated among the top five hoteliers in the world by Virtuoso advisers in “Best of the Best Award: Best Hotelier of the Year 2014.”

Yvette Thomas - Regional Vice President and General Manager | Four Seasons Resort

Nevis, West Indies. As a veteran of Four Seasons with a career spanning more than a decade, Thomas-Henry began her career with the leading luxury hotel company as Director of Rooms at Four Seasons Hotel New York in 2007 and soon became a known leader in the industry across the East Coast with a stop at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC. But it was her return to New York in 2013 where Thomas-Henry assumed the role of Acting General Manager following the transfer of the Hotel’s previous executive, that her own GM and hotel leadership future was crystalised. The native of the United States Virgin Islands returned home to the Caribbean to lead the team at Four Seasons Resort Nevis as the company’s first Caribbean property emerges from a game-changing, multi-year enhancement project.

Nathalie Cockayne - General Manager, Melia Desert Palm, Dubai. Nathalie has more than 20 years' international experience and joined the property from Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group A British national born in Hong Kong, she moved to the UAE and began her career at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai in the position of guest services executive. Following that, she worked with InterContinental Dubai as their assistant front office manager. She also worked with The Setai, Miami Beach, The Savoy - A Fairmont Hotel London, Fairmont Beijing and Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong. Nathalie holds a bachelor of business degree in hotel management from the Australian International Hotel School, Canberra (Australia).

Jan Hazelton - Vice President, Global Business & Real Estate Development at Kerzner

International, London. Jan joined Kerzner International in 2017 and is responsible for the growth of the Atlantis and One & Only brands in Europe and the Americas. Most recently she was the Managing Director at Three Points Advisory, a boutique advisory firm that focuses on hotel development and investments. She has degrees in Hotel and Business Administration from Washington State University

Rekha Bothma - General Manager(CHA) - Multi property GM at Peermont Global -

Emperors Palace Hotel Casino Convention and Entertainment Resort. Driven Multi Property Hotel General Manager with 20 years of experience in Hotel Operations. An inspiring and conscientious leader with a strong background in team development and a solid reputation for assessing business needs, developing cost-saving solutions, increasing sales, and driving customer satisfaction.

Daniela Freund Lecturer&Researcher at School of Tourism & Hospitality Management, Sant Ignasi, Tourism & Women Leadership expert. Passionate about tourism, hospitality, education & women leadership. Contributes towards a more responsible and equal world through networks (EJE&CON, 50a50, Agima, Women in e-travel), articles and as speaker in conferences and media. Mentor & advisor of tourism or education related start-ups. Co-founder WERock Capital.

Brenda Collin FIH, Senior Vice President Europe - Preferred Hotels & Resorts. Chair of

Institute of Hospitality London Branch. Hospitality Action Ambassador, Student Mentor The Springboard Charity & Springboard UK…Responsible for the success of 125 of the 200+ member hotels in Europe focusing on maximising revenue and profitability on behalf of owners and GM’s, enhancing asset value, and driving return.
 Passionate about supporting current and future hospitality students through mentoring programmes and working towards promoting hospitality as a career of choice. Chair of London branch of Institute of Hospitality , ensuring London hospitality members benefit from the committee members involvement and experience. Hospitality Action Ambassador.. Promoter of the fantastic work delivered by Hospitality Action, our industry charity, who needs our support more than ever before.. 


HoteliersGuild LeadingHôtelières Chapter Recommended Processes December 2020

LeadingHôtelières Mission The mission of LeadingHôtelières Chapter of the HoteliersGuild is to accelerate gender equality in the hotel sector.

Within the overall mission there will be a yearly focus. The focus for Year one (2021) is:

• Launching with SDG5 and in particular how flexible working structures can be made more gender equal and enhance female progression in operational roles

LeadingHôtelières Chapter | Code of Ethics The Ethical Code is designed to reaffirm and promote LeadingHôtelières’ mission and values of inclusion, open dialogue, respect and collaboration, as the change effected through our work is set to benefit all, and not just one section of society. The Code serves as a guideline for all members of this chapter in their practice to introduce and integrate gender equality in the areas of development of tasks, manuals and white paper to be used in the hotel sector and its supply chains, and standards member hoteliers use to set operational and supply chain ethical requirements.

This Code aims to encourage and support members in their decision-making and conduct, guide their collaboration, and provide best ethical practices when they perform their duties both inside and outside their organization. In this way all play a major role in aligning the commitments to creating a set of tools that foster practices within the hotel sector to accelerate gender equality.

LeadingHôtelières’ goal is to achieve the UN’s SDG5 ‘Gender Equality’ within the hotel industry, the areas in which to implement these being as follows:

1. 2. 3. 4.


Workplace Violence & Harassment

Equal Remuneration for Women & Men

Flexibility and Work-life Balance

5. Parental Leave and Childcare Service & Benefits

6. Women in Leadership

7. Inclusive Supply Chain and Economic Inclusion

We at LeadingHôtelières endeavour to implement selected tasks of the SDG5 within these topics and provide guidelines in our manual of how to achieve this.

Founder Frank M. Pfaller, Founder President - HoteliersGuild

Co-Founder and Honorary Ambassador Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO Preferred Hotels Group

Chairwoman and Co-Chair From September 2020 to September 2021 these are Xenia zu Hohenlohe, Chairwoman - Managing Partner ConsiderateGroup and Sowon Kim, Co-Chair - Associate Professor EHL & Co-founder Women in Leadership)

Length of tenure: to be rotated on an annual basis.

Focus Group Members Process for becoming a focus group member: any member may nominate someone to become a member should they feel there is a need in one of the 4 pillars. This should be raised on the monthly call (suitability will be based primarily on the individual and their organisation’s positive stance on gender equality and other key aspects of the UN Sustainability Development Goals as well as there being space for/a requirement for assistance in a particular pillar group).

All focus group members are female

Role: on joining, each member selects one of the four pillars (see below) that they feel they are most suited to assisting with, in discussion with Xenia/Sowon

Length of tenure: Focus group members will be asked to commit to the minimum of one year of tenure. After that they may leave ideally with a few months’ notice when they feel the time is right.

Recommended total number of members in each pillar: 4-8


1. Academia & Research: (Sowon, Renee, Maribel)

a. Stage one: researching flexibility in the workplace v outcomes

2. Sponsorship & Network (Xenia, Celine, Irene)

a. Stage one: research, mission and code of ethics being presented to selected male hoteliers – the goal is to have their backing in selecting a gender/diversity champion in their organisation to drive the agenda internally and be associated with Leading Hotelieres

3. Design & Development (Tania, Valentina, Yasmine, Dagmar, Sonja & Vicki tbc, Frank)

4. Communication & Media (Frank, Maria, Fran)

Leaders: it is recommended that each Pillar should have a leader who takes responsibility for communication and organisation within their own pillar group and for sharing the advancement of initiatives and so on with the wider member group, in particular during the monthly calls. Leaders are selected within the individual pillar groups

Length of tenure: leader of each pillar to be rotated on an annual basis

Expected time commitment: we recognise that all members are volunteers and have extremely busy lives. We are extremely grateful for any time that a member is able to offer on a volunteer basis to help support this initiative. We feel it may be helpful to provide some guidance of time expected, if possible. We have a monthly call of approximately one hour (normally on a Friday morning at the start of each month although this is subject to change). Xenia provides an agenda and Maria/Fran provide minutes afterwards. In preparation for that call, we recommend that members arrange a call with their peers in their pillar to progress their initiatives and the outcome of these discussions can be shared with the full group on the monthly call

Affiliated Members Affiliated members do not have an active role but may be called upon for advice from time to time. They also form a pool of possible candidates for focus group members when places become available. Suggestions for new affiliated members may be put forward on the monthly calls

Nathalie Cockayne – Regional VP and GM Four Seasons Nevis

Yvette Thomas- GM Melia Desert Palm Dubai

Jan Hazelton – VP Global Business & Real Estate Dev, Kerzner

Rekha Bothma – Multi property GM, Peermont Global

Pauline Tew - CEO MyHotel, Australia

Nathalie Seiler-Hayez, General Manager at The Beau-Rivage Palace - Lausanne

Advisors Process for becoming an advisor: a number of advisors have already been invited and accepted, with many thanks to Frank. The list of existing advisors to date is noted below. For future advisors, it is recommended that members can put forward a nomination for an advisor on the monthly call. Election criteria will be provided in due course which outlines the profile we may be seeking.

Key criteria we are looking for in our advisers:

• To be passionate about empowering women into leadership roles in the hospitality industry

• To be willing to support the targets set by Leading Hoteliers

• To be happy to be guided by the research put forward by this group

• To be an experienced professional willing to use his/her voice, standing and connections to further our cause

• Role: this will develop with time but we foresee for example:

- LH will share reports/news on our initiatives with our advisors and request comments and feedback

- LH may select certain advisors on occasion to assist the pillar groups with specific initiatives

- LH will request that advisors be the first if possible to implement initiatives developed by Leading Hotelieres within their own organisations

- Advisors to become ambassadors for Leading Hotelieres by following our social media activity, sharing our news with their contacts, being positive advocates of our initiatives etc

Expectations from the advisory board (as outlined by Frank) • Advisory board members should contribute by giving best advice and insight

• Advisors have no governing power, active engagement commitment or other responsibilities, they simply offer opinions and professional insight.

• Their thought leadership, however, can have a powerful impact on our non-profit’s perception, specifically in the field of gender equality!

• Often, advisors focus on specific areas of non-profit needs or ambassadorship, e.g. in our HoteliersForGood initiative, where ‘Ambassadors’ are, in fact, advisors

• Our Advisory Board member should shape our outreach strategy by:

• Representing an audience that our cause seeks stronger connection to

• Assist in making that connection happen through networking/lobbying, co-planning events, accept speakers engagements to promote our cause, accept to be quoted in/participate with media releases etc

• Promoting our non-profit initiatives in their community

• Offering recommendations to us in specific subject matters

• Representing various cultural areas e.g. covering all continents

• ‘Reporting’ directly to the LH leadership, e.g. Chair and Co-chair

List of current advisors:

Sue Harmsworth (tbc subject to time constraints) – Chairman and Founder, ESPA

Professor Dr Willy Legrand – Professor Hospitality Management, IUBH

Professor Dr Henri Kuokkanen, Associate Professor & Vice Dean of Institut Paul Bocuse

Administration FocusGroup email: we have a group email address set up for focus group members – All new members are added to this group email by Maria/Fran. Please only use this group email address when wishing to address all members

Meeting minutes: these are taken by Maria/Fran at every monthly meeting and circulated afterwards via the group email address

Dropbox: a dropbox has been created for shared documents – Here is the Dropbox – please feel free to upload any documents to this shared drop box that you would like the full group of members to see

Social media: Currently we have a group set up on linked in for sharing relevant news. We foresee this becoming far more active in due course as we start to develop initiatives and have news to share. At that point members will discuss who we should open the group up to but for now we have kept it as a group for members only whilst there is limited information. Frank is currently managing the linked in group

We have provided a guideline of hashtags that may be used when posting information which you wish to link to Leading Hotelieres, as follows (this is not a finite list!) – we encourage all members to please use these hashtags as much as possible:

#leadinghotelieres, #hoteliersguild, #forumofdialogue, #womeninleadership, #inclusivity, #womeninhospitality, #womenleadingtheway, #genderequality, #femaleleadership, #seniorfemaleleaders, #SDG5, #womeninthehotelindustry, #womeninbusiness, #womenempowerment, #womensupportingwomen, #flexibleworking When possible, the initiative should be referred to as HoteliersGuild LeadingHôtelières – we also have a logo which we encourage all members to use, as follows:

Communications: Maria/Fran/Frank will be sharing a communications plan in due course once initiatives are developing within the different pillars and we have a clear path ahead

Other A related initiative has been established by Frank and Sowon, called Young Leading Hotelieres’ Insights. The idea is to provide visibility to young, up and coming talent. Female students from EHL and Institut Paul Bocuse will be invited to write a piece which, subject to certain criteria, will be published on FOD and LookBook.

This will work as follows:


Every semester Sowon, Wily and Henri identify brilliant female students in their respective classes

Enquire for their GPAs and if they are truly interested to pursue a hospitality career

If both answers are YES, they will be invited to write a 500 word (1 page) piece on a topic of their choice which would be proofread by our in-house editor

The final version would be published in HoteliersGuild’s FOD + LookBook with a short bio / pic of student

Once it is published, the article would also be published via EHL insights/IPB & University Bad Honnef with a statement such as “original article published in…” which would increase our LH visibility…

HoteliersGuild’s LeadingHôteliéres chapter in collaboration with EHL’s WomenInLeadership, Institut Paul Bocuse/Prof.Dr. Henri Kuokkanen and IUBH, Prof. Dr. Willy Legrand is delighted to announce the creation of YoungHôtelièresInsights - a space dedicated for aspiring future hospitality leaders to contribute to our industry with their reflections, ideas, trends and hottest topics as viewed by their generation - that will be

featured in the HoteliersGuild ForumOfDialogue magazine.

EHL’s Prof. Dr. Sowon Kim says: “Great idea Frank! We focus on female students and from time to time male - here is a thought, we could for example limit to 10-20% of male contribution, and content could be in lines of male championing women (in line with one of our pillars) like e.g. how they see the contribution of their female peers; this might be eye opening for the established male hoteliers reading such a piece and realizing why there might be a need for them to change too. From my perspective making the

“YoungHôtelièresInsights” primary female is not being exclusive but rather in line with the mission of LH. In addition there is a need to be inclusive when a group is a minority which in this case is women in decision making positions and not men ! While everyone needs to be promoted is these hard times, the system where we live in is exclusive against women which is the exact reason why there are less than 5% of women in top positions and hence the raison d’être for LH!”

How it will work? Every semester, the respective professor identifies brilliant female students in their class. They ask for their GPAs and if they are truly interested to pursue a hospitality career. The final version will be published in HoteliersGuild’s FourumOfDialogue with a short bio/pic of the student. Once it is published, the article would also be published via EHL/IBP/IUBH website with a statement such as “original article published in…” which would increase FOD and LH visibility. Frank will actively promote and support the cause via HoteliersGuild




Profile for Selected Hotels Promotion L.C.

HoteliersGuild LeadingHôtelières Chapter | Updated with CodeOfEthics & Members Roster  

HoteliersGuild LeadingHôtelières Chapter | Updated with CodeOfEthics & Members Roster  

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